Tag Archives: Scotland

Take a little wander with me

The other day I started to think that all of my wandering around probably seems pretty random and possibly boring to some of you.   So on Tuesday, after I finished checking my email etc I decided to go out for a walk to continue my search for a grocery store so that I could avoid eating only apricots and almonds for dinner and I did a little photo-journaling to show you all what a little wandering can achieve.  I left my hostel and wandered up towards Stirling Castle, as I had been pretty much everywhere in the city on the other side of the hostel. I wandered up to the castle to see what it looked like and also see if I could see any grocery stores from the top of the hill.

No luck, but I did find a cool cemetry, so I started walking towards it. As I was wandering towards the cemetry, so I decided to check it out. Then I was faced with a difficult challenge because I found a cool looking alley way. I had to decide whether I should continue towards the cemetery or follow the cool alleyway. In the end I figured that the alley proabably lead towards the old city, where I had already been and knew that there were no grocery stores. So I continued straight. Then I stumbled upon a map, where I saw that I could see a beheading stone.

Obviously not finding the beheading stone was not an option so I decided that after the cemetry I would go find that. Besides, I figured that if I didn’t find a grocery store  then it was the universe’s way of telling me to eat at the delicious smelling Thai restaurant down the street. 

When I was in the cemetry I wandered for a bit before I found a nataure path that I decided to follow. As I was wandering on this path I saw two cannons in the distance on a hill so I thought “hark! random wilderness canons! I must find out what they are!” and I veered in the direction of the canons.

Along the pathways that I imagined lead towards the canons I found bunny country. There were so many bunnies that I would have sworn I had stumbled into the UVic campus.

Sadly, I saw no baby bunnies.  Anyhow, I wandered around for a little while before stumbling upon the cannons again, this time up close. Low and behold, beside the cannons was some sort of iron dome. Upon closer inspection I found that it was the ….

Beheading Stone! Hurray! (Insert killing two birds with one stone pun here.) I checked out the beheading stone for about 15 seconds (there wasn’t much to see) and then I heard an ice cream truck. Now, I had been hearing this ice cream truck all day without ever being able to find it. You can only imagine my frustration because I really wanted to see if they have the lemon-happy-face Popsicles that Kate told me about.  As I happened to be perched on a hilltop I looked around the land below me to find the ice cream truck. It must be painted in camouflage because it is impossible to find. Anyhow, I did find a grocery store! Hurray! 

So I wandered back down the hill and bought my groceries. And that was the end of my wanderings. So now you can understand why I am unlikely to use maps. If I’d consulted a map, I never would have found the cool cemetery, the bunny country, or the beheading stone!

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The Trolls Didn’t Get Me!

Greetings from Scotland! I’m currently in Stirling, which will be my home for the next four nights. I’m gonig to check out St. Andrews, Glasgow and one more destination that is TBA while I use Stirling as a base. A lot has happened since I last posted.I had to convince the UK customs officials that I wasn’t going to camp out in their country for ever (despite having no home or job in Canada… I can understand why they had concerns) but once that was done they let me into their lovely land and I was free to have more adventures.  For reasons relating to paid internet time, I’m skipping over Edinburgh. Please note that this in no way reflects how I feel about the city. I could go on for pages about how much I loved it.

After Edinburgh I headed up to Aberdeen for 2 nights. Here’s a fun fact for any travellers in Scotland: when hostels have green signs that say “drinking water,” it’s a good idea to double check that it didn’t say “not drinking water” before someone scratched off the rest of the sign. Ugh. Anyhow, much tummy aching aside, I’m fine now and have been reduced to paying for water.  I did like Aberdeen though, it’s a neat little city. Yesterday I took a day trip to Stonehaven where I visited the ruins of Dunnottar Castle. It was absolutely a highlight of my entire trip so far. To get there you walk for about 4 km along a path that follows farmer’s fields and a cliff with waves crashing below.  Well, I must admit that I’m only assuming that the waves were crashing below. I couldn’t see them because of the fog, but I think that the chances that someone has strategically placed microphones with the sounds of crashing waves beside the path are slim.  Because of the fog, I also couldn’t see the castle in front of me so I missed the turn to get to the castle.  I’m glad though because my wrong turn led me to a glorious billy-goat bridge and an enchanted waterfall. I’m sorry that I don’t have any pictures though because all you would have seen was fog.  Anyhow, once I crossed over the billy-goat bridge I decided that it didn’t feel like the right direction any more and I turned back around so that I didn’t have to deal with the wrath of any trolls.  After a little bit of exploring I finally found the path to the castle. 

The castle itself is in ruins but the owners have restored the drawing room, so you can get an idea of what the inside would have felt like in its glory days. I must say that yesterday in Scotland made me appreciate why explorers went out looking for other lands back in the days of yore. It was rainy and cold and despite my general excitment surrounding the day I certainly felt that I had earned my cup of hot chocolate at the end of the day . . . using water that I boiled myself.

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